Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spicy Eggplant Goat Cheese Pizza

I need to be better about posting dinner recipes.  After all, those are the kind I seek out most frequently.  It’s just usually at dinner time I’m in a huge rush, or I think I’ve lost the light, Nathan’s starving, wah wah wah.  As soon as I mentally concocted this flavor combo, I knew I’d want to put it on the blog.  I’ve been inspired to get a little more creative with our pizza toppings after two recent visits to Porta Via here in Nashville.  If I’m going to eat pizza, I want the real freaking deal.  Porta Via has really great pizza, and really great gelato!

On to this dish…  Rather than make my own pizza dough, I kept this super easy, by using dough I purchased at Trader Joe’s.  I roasted some eggplant, and chopped up a large jalapeno, both veggies from my CSA box.  Then I tossed on some sliced & slightly roasted jalapeno chicken sausages (also from Trader Joe’s), and soft & creamy goat cheese.  I loved the combination of the spicy jalapeno & chicken sausage when paired with the goat cheese & mild eggplant.  To give it extra kick, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes!

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Spicy Eggplant Goat Cheese Pizza

Feel free to use this as more of a flavor guide. Top your pizza with the amount of each ingredient you'd like. I ended up not needing all of the toppings I had prepared.

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough
flour for dusting & rolling out the dough
1 small eggplant
1 jalapeno
2 chicken sausage links (I used the jalapeno variety)
1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4-1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1 oz goat cheese

cornmeal (optional)
olive oil (optional)
italian seasoning (optional)
cracked pepper (optional)
red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice eggplant thinly (about 1/4"), then quarter the slices. Arrange on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with cracked pepper. Roast about 15 minutes, turning halfway though. While eggplant is roasting, slice jalapeno in half, remove seeds, and slice thinly. Set aside. Slice chicken sausages, and roast about 5-7 minutes, remove right as they begin to turn golden.

When eggplant & chicken sausage are done roasting, put your pizza stone in the oven (if you're using one), and turn the heat up as high as you can get it. Let the stone warm up. I take this time to assemble my ingredients into an assembly line so I can prepare the pizza as quick as possible.

Meanwhile, dust your work surface with flour and roll out your dough. When stone is ready, remove from the oven, sprinkle with cornmeal (optional), and transfer dough to the stone. If you'd like, brush the edge of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with italian seasoning.. This is just optional, but I think it helps create a delicious golden crust. Next spread on the marinara sauce, followed by the mozzarella cheese, eggplant, chicken sausage, & jalapeno. Dollop on the goat cheese, and finish with a sprinkle of cracked pepper & red pepper flakes. Transfer pizza stone back to the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden, and finished.

ErinsFoodFiles original

One of the other things that inspired this pizza, was a special delivery I’d just gotten.  The wonderful people I met at BlogHerFood ’11 from Barilla Pasta introduced me to their new pasta sauce.  They were nice enough to send a few jars to me to sample.  While they created this line of sauce intended to “hug pasta” (their words!), I decided to crack open a jar and spread it on my pizza!  I can’t wait to explore more recipes to share with you in the future!  On that note, I’ll go ahead and let you know, I’m not being paid by them, only provided with some of their new sauces to sample.  :)

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11 Responses to “Spicy Eggplant Goat Cheese Pizza”

  1. 1
    Melissa | Dash of East — August 31, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    This look SO yummy! This pizza is very similar to one of my favorites at a local pizza joint near my house. Except it’s vegetarian so, minus the chicken sausage and add sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions.

    Eggplant and goat cheese – Mmm… you can’t go wrong there!

  2. 2
    amy (fearless homemaker) — August 31, 2011 @ 8:27 am

    looks awesome. i love all the ingredients in this pizza + the fact that you added a bit of heat makes it perfect! i’m still trying to get my husband to enjoy eggplant + by pairing it with goat cheese + sausage might be just the way. thanks for the good idea!

  3. 3
    Cate — August 31, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    I’ve been lacking inspiration for Pizza Friday lately but since I adore goat cheese and eggplant, this is definitely going on the menu!

  4. 4
    Susan in the Boonies — August 31, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    That looks delicious! Been craving eggplant lately, too.

  5. 5
    elly — August 31, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    LOVE this pizza. I adore goat cheese with spicy foods, such a good complement. I have some baby eggplants in the fridge and a ball of pizza dough in the freezer, so this might show up on Friday’s menu!

  6. 6
    Debby — September 1, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    I’m definitively doing a pizza tonight, this one looks good :)

  7. 7
    Jen — September 1, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    Oh this looks amazing! I was going to do a Margarita for Monday (National Cheese Pizza Day), but this looks so good. Maybe I’ll do this instead.

  8. 8
    Kira — September 2, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    Love the eggplant/goat cheese combo! I was getting frustrated staring at my eggplant in the fridge, but this makes me a little excited about using it.

  9. 9
    Emmely — September 4, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Made this last night and we loved it! Mighty good leftovers for lunch today too. Perfect amount of heat and I loved that it didn’t turn out too heavy or greasy. I am thinking about trying it again with a pesto base.

  10. 10
    Amanda — September 27, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    YUM!!!

  11. Pingback: Spicy Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches | Cate's World Kitchen

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